Gus Poyet insists he doesn’t want to talk about a long-term contract until Sunderland are safe.
The Black Cats have been transformed under his stewardship, extricating themselves from the thick of the relegation battle while also making a major cup final.
In an editorial yesterday the Journal argued that Sunderland should be handing him a long-term deal and a mandate to re-shape the Black Cats. But Poyet says everything is on hold until the Cats manage to achieve their survival goal. “No, because we have done nothing yet. My challenge is to get safe and we are not,” he said. “I’m not even thinking about pre-season yet and normally in February I would be. I would be planning pre-season but I don’t think it’s right yet. It will take a little bit longer for pre-season.”
One of the players that Poyet has improved is Jozy Altidore, the striker who performed so well against Newcastle despite failing to add to his one Premier League goal. The Sunderland boss says he will declare Saturday “Jozy day” if the American re-opens his top flight account with a goal against former club Hull.
He also insists he is benefiting from the team’s improved confidence. He said: “I think when you win the important games and when you’re going through a group of games that you win it brings more from people naturally because you become a better group and feel part of something important.”